The African Dodger

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Thu Oct 6 17:11:39 UTC 2011

On Thu, Oct 6, 2011 at 7:10 AM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at> wrote:
> They just thought it was the usual craziness.

That's the attitude of the author of the op. cit., too. Rather
surprising, given that the book is about the past glories of *black*
Los Angeles.

> They didn't specify that the victim had to be black, though in the few refs. I've seen since then, he always is.

The author of the op. cit. likewise doesn't *specify* that, though he
does mention it.

"You and I proceed to the Bobo. A time-honored carnival figure, as
familiar as the lion-tamer or the clown, the Bobo is the guy you love
to hate… [H]is name is 'Hard-Headed Sam.' All you see is ,,, Sam's
dark, _black_ head poking through a round hole…"

My impression is that the Bobo could have been a white guy - the
reason for the non-use of "*African* Dodger" and for noting in passing
that, in this case, he *is* black? - in which case, our attention
would not have been drawn to him, presumably.

The loc. cit. in the op. cit. no longer exists, but I used to go
thither back in the '50's, when it was still around, with my
girlfriend and other locals. I didn't see a Bobo and no mention was
made of one. So, either there was no longer one or, equally likely, he
was of no interest to us, whatever his race, we being hip, boojie

All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint
to come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Mark Twain

The American Dialect Society -

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